Thursday, May 16, 2013

What Kids Say

I was trying to put the girls down for a nap, and Jake kept interrupting me.

"Can I put dirt in this Cinderella cup?"

I wasn't sure the girls would want their princess cups used for one of Jake's mud-making adventures, so I helped him find an old juice container instead.

Minutes later I heard the door again, and Jake came into the girls' room. (The girls really appreciated these interruptions. I did not.)

"Mom, do you know where some ribbon is?"


Not long after I heard the door again, and both girls sat up in bed. Jake appeared in the doorway, and I cut him off before he spoke.

"Can you please leave me alone for a few minutes? I'll be out in a little while." He left, and I felt a little bad. I should have just listened to him and answered whatever question he had. It wouldn't have taken too long, I thought. 

So when he reappeared in the doorway a minute later I bit my tongue. And he showed me this bouquet he had made for me.
It is tender being the obvious object of your child's deepest affections. He left the room, and I sat thinking about the things kids say.

Sometimes I feel grumpy that no one thanks me for cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, mopping the floor, doing the dishes, or making an endless parade of good, healthy meals. Sometimes I get tired of hearing, "Why are we having that for dinner?" or "I need heeeeelp!"

But when Jake makes me such a sweet bouquet he is really saying-
  • Thank you for not coming unglued when I hammer on the kitchen table. 
  • Thank you for not losing it when my friends and I track mud all over your freshly-cleaned floor.
  • Thank you for not complaining when our basement looks like a Lego-covered minefield.
  • Thank you for letting me spill dried barley all over the kitchen floor when I play "excavator".
  • Thank you for letting me tear the living room apart day after day when I make blanket forts.
When Abby comes in with a huge smile and a handful of dandelions that she announces she is going to put in my "love-note box", she is really saying-
  • Thank you for taking me to story time and helping me find fun books to read.
  • Thank you for walking with me to the park and pushing me on the swings.
  • Thank you for not complaining when I accidentally smear mud on the doors, walls, and counters.
  • Thank you for praying with me when I am scared at night.
  • Thank you for letting me splash water all over the bathroom every time I take a tub.
When I come home and Grace grins and shrieks, "Mommy!", she is really saying-
  • Thank you for taking care of me at night.
  • Thank you for picking me up when I cry.
  • Thank you for helping me pet the neighbor's dog.
  • Thank you for helping me with my dolls.
  • Thank you for playing with me.
Sometimes I wish my kids would thank me more. Really, my kids say "thank you" and "I love you" all the time. I just have to notice how they say it. 

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